What Is USB-C? An Explainer | PCMag.com

Learn about the latest USB cable connector, called USB-C:

The USB-C connector looks similar to a micro USB connector at first glance, though it’s more oval-shaped and slightly thicker to accommodate its best feature: Like Lightning and MagSafe, the USB-C connector has no up or down orientation. Line up the connector properly, and you don’t have to flip it to plug it in. The cables also have the same connector on both ends, so you don’t have to figure out which end goes where, which has not been the case with all the USB cables we’ve been using for the past 20 years.

Source: What Is USB-C? An Explainer | PCMag.com

Is VeraCrypt The Reincarnation of TrueCrypt??? — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-05)

Is VeraCrypt The Reincarnation of TrueCrypt??? – Nearly everyone in the world of tech has heard of TrueCrypt. TrueCrypt was an open source-available freeware utility used for on-the-fly encryption (OTFE). If you notice I said “was”. TrueCrypt’s life was an approximate 10 year lifespan from 2004 to 2014. In 2014 TrueCrypt abruptly shutdown development and many rumors have persisted since that time, as to “why”. As a result, many people became skeptical about the security of TrueCrypt. Well fret no more…  I noticed at Gizmo’s Freeware site (one of my favorite sites) that TrueCrypt has been reincarnated into VeraCrypt. Gizmo’s has an article posted, TrueCrypt Is Dead. Long Live VeraCrypt! that I encourage you to read.

VeraCrypt

VeraCrypt picks up from where TrueCrypt left and it adds enhanced security to the algorithms used for system and partitions encryption making it immune to new developments in brute-force attacks.

VeraCrypt also solves many vulnerabilities and security issues found in TrueCrypt. It can load TrueCrypt volume and it offers the possibility to convert TrueCrypt containers and non-system partitions to VeraCrypt format.

To learn how to use Veracrypt — CLICK HERE — for a beginner’s tutorial.

MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

SpyDetectFree – Free Spyware Detector – Here is a FREE, easy to run, spyware detector called SpyDetectFree. It is a “one click” tool mainly intended for detecting processes that may indicate that your keystrokes are being recorded and/or there is the presence of spyware on your computer. SpyDetectFree does not require installation. Simply download and run.

SpyDetectFree

SpyDetectFree

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A Tutorial On Three Ways To View The WiFi Password On Your Windows 10 PC – You need to put ILoveFreeSoftware’s tutorial on “How To View WiFi Password on Windows 10 PC” in your tech toolbox files. Visit the site to learn how to: (1) View Windows 10 Wifi Password via Network and Sharing Center; (2) See Wifi Password on Windows 10 via Command Prompt; and, (3) Use Free WirelessKeyView Software for Windows 10 To View Wifi Password…

How To View WiFi Password on Windows 10 PC

enable show characters option to reveal the password

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Some Simple “FREE” Programs To Try – I don’t know what it is, but I have always had a fancy toward the small software programs that are developed for specific purposes. Many of these turn out to be actually very good. Reflected below are four that I ventured across this week that were new to me and is a worth a try:

WinBurner – Free Simple Complete Burning Suite

Tray Radio

OneWaySynchronize

OneWaySynchronize screenshot

SSuite Envelope Printer

Screenshot of SSuite - Envelope Printer

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Anker® Full-Size Ergonomic Wireless Mouse with 6 Buttons – If you are looking for a mouse, you will not beat the price (or customers reviews) on the Anker® Full-Size Ergonomic Wireless Mouse with 6 Buttons.

Anker® Full-Size Ergonomic Wireless Mouse

Anker Full-Size Ergonomic Wireless Mouse

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-25) FEATURING — Take A Virtual Reality Ride On A New Dive Rollercoaster Coming In 2016 — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Take A Virtual Reality Ride On A New Dive Rollercoaster Coming In 2016 – When introduced in 2016, this rollercoaster (called the Valravn) will establish itself as being the world’s tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster.  You can read more about it here.  In the meantime you can take a virtual reality ride on it from your computer (see video below) and even on your phone as an Android or Apple app.

Start Video Below To Ride The Valravn
(Click full screen to get the full effect. There is a control at the top left
corner that can be used to get a panoramic view)

Campaign To Ban The Development of Sex Robots – Folks, this is not a joke. Knowing what I know about computer technology and the rapid development of robotics, we are very close to the time where you will be able to purchase your own sex robot. From an ethical standpoint, this is very disturbing. “Dr Richardson, a robot ethicist at De Montfort University in Leicester, wants to raise awareness of the issue and persuade those developing sex robots to rethink how their technology is used — READ MORE

Roxxxy the robot in a publicity shot

Free Security Protection and Speed Booster for Android Phone – If you are looking to take protective measures on your Android smartphone or tablet, you may want to take a look at the 360 Security – Antivirus Boost app. I am currently testing this on my tablet and phone and in comparison to many of the other security apps I have tried, I am really liking what I am seeing with this app. In summary 360 Security is a Security & Antivirus app with features such as:  junk-file remover, memory booster, power saver, anti-theft components (locater, eraser, alarm and lock), privacy & app locks, and real-time protection. This app runs as smooth as silk on both of my devices and carries a high rating at the google play store. I have added 360 Security to the downloads page under the Android Apps swarm.

 360 Security - Antivirus Boost

Could You Spot A Fake Product Review? – When I intend on making a purchase online, I head straight to the customer reviews to see what other people are saying about the product. The problem with this is that there are people paid to post fake reviews (often using automated technology) and you really have to be careful.  I typically will head to other sites that have the product and also check out their customer reviews so that I have a good comparative analysis. I typically try to stick with Amazon for reviews because there are typically many reviewers (often with pictures and videos).  As a matter of fact Amazon will often contact you, after making a purchase, to encourage you to post a review and/or answer a question about the product.  So, how do you spot fake reviews?  I encourage you to take a look at this article at TNW News, “How to spot fake reviews“… As the article states, “The bottom line is that you should easily be able to figure out if an item is a quality product or which companies have superior customer service without going through an exhaustive or misleading web experience”.

How spot fake reviews @ TNW News

How To Spot A Fake Review

Always Check The Deal Of The Day (@Amazon) – At the bottom of the blog you will see an icon for “The Deal Of The Day“.  When visiting, always click on that icon to see what Amazon has going on. For example, as of today’s blog post, they are offering tremendous savings on TP-Link Networking products

Deal of the Day

What Antivirus Do I Use? – I can tell you this… I have NEVER paid for any antivirus software EVER. Much of what we do on the internet and how we do it determines what our risk level is when it comes to becoming a victim of malware. The antivirus software that I currently use is Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition. Once you install it, establish an online account, you will not even know it is there.

Bitdefender Free Edition

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A Brief “How To” On Replacing The Power Supply In Your Computer

One of the most popular articles, at What’s On My PC, is about pinpointing whether a power supply is failing or not (Symptoms of a Failing Computer Power Supply)… What the article does not get into, is how to remove the power supply and replace it. If you examine the picture below of a computer power supply, it appears from all the wiring, it is a complex process; but, in reality it is not.

Today, I came across a brief “how to” on replacing the power supply in your computer at PCWorld. The article describes very nicely the two factors involved:

How Remove Your Old PC Power Supply

AND

How To Replace Your PC Power Supply

How to replace a power supply...

I encourage you to take a minute or two to review the article and I think you will agree that removing and replacing a power supply is not very difficult. If you are looking for a replacement power supply click here

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TODAY ONLY = Up to 40% Off Select Transcend Memory Cards, USB Drives, and Solid-State Drives

A quick post this morning (Thursday – June 11, 2015)… Noticed that Amazon has up to 40% off on select Transcend products (such as memory cards, USB Drives, and Solid State Drives). I recently upgraded my 5 year old laptop with a Transcend SSD (Solid State Drive) and what a noticeable performance increase. If interested in checking this deal out, click the link below…

Today only, enjoy special savings on Transcend memory products.
This one-day offer is valid on June 11, 2015,
or while supplies last.

Transcend

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Revive An Old PC or Laptop With The Transcend Information 256 GB SATA III SSD370

Recently, I had an older Windows 7 based Toshiba Laptop given to me in exchange for removing the personal data off of the drive. The laptop was suffering some other issues, as well;  that I was able to fix. The laptop is approximately 5 years old and came at a time when I was giving my brother a another computer I had, to install in his man-cave (garage)… The Toshiba became my own man-cave (garage) computer, after upgrading the computer with a Solid State Drive.

To breathe new life into this laptop I installed the Transcend Information 256 GB SATA III 6 Gb/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive. For the money, it was a no-brainer. The difference this upgrade made was very noticeable (faster boot time, faster program loads, and a faster internet experience).

A nice thing about the SSD370, is that it includes a 3.5-inch mounting kit, consisting of a bay adapter and 8 mounting screws (in the event you decide to install this drive in a desktop computer). Once attached to the chassis, you can use the 2.5-inch SSD370 in the standard 3.5-inch space.

Transcend Information 256 GB SATA III 6Gb/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive TS256GSSD370

Transcend Information 256 GB SATA III 6 Gb/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive

  • 256GB (MLC)
  • Max. Read 570MB/s, Max. Write 470MB/s
  • DDR3 DRAM cache
  • TRIM Command support
  • Power Shield to prevent data loss when sudden power off
  • Supports S.M.A.R.T. function
  • Built-in ECC protection for long data retention
  • Intelligent Block Management and Wear Leveling

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Best Sellers In Notebook Computers (at Amazon for Friday, April 10, 2015)

I was just reading yesterday how desktop computer sales are down. I do not know if that applies to notebook computers, but here is the top ten sellers at Amazon, as of the date of this posting. What you will notice that these are all low end notebooks (or chromebooks) for under $300…

If you are late getting to this, you can check out the current listing of best sellers — click here

Fri, 10 Apr 2015 8:15:33 EDT

Lenovo G50

Lenovo G50 15.6-Inch Laptop (Core i3, 6 GB, 500 GB)
by Lenovo
Ranking has gone up in the past 24 hours 151 days in the top 100
3.9 out of 5 stars(325)

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Best Sellers In Desktop Computers (at Amazon for March 20, 2015)

If you are looking for a computer, a great place to start is at Amazon’s Best Sellers in Desktop Computers. I often visit their best sellers section to get a good feel as to what is most popular.

Reflected below are the top ten (in no particular order) out of the top 100…

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An Asus 24 Inch Computer Monitor With Over 3000 Buyers Giving It A 5 Star Rating For Under $160

The ingredients were right when I saw this monitor: An Asus 24 Inch Computer Monitor With Over 3000 Buyers Giving It A 5 Star Rating For Under $160 …  I was making my daily rounds on Amazon when I came across the Asus VS247H-P 23.6-Inch Full-HD LED-Lit LCD Monitor and thought this is a computer monitor that one of my readers may be interested in. I do not know how long the pricing will stay on this…

Asus VS247H-P 23.6-Inch Full-HD LED-Lit LCD Monitor

The Asus VS247H-P 23.6-Inch Full-HD LED-Lit LCD Monitor has actually been reviewed by over 4500 buyers with an average rating of over 4 stars (per the Amazon rating scale). If you have any questions in regards to this monitor it is likely your question(s) has been answered HERE.

Key Features:

  • Full HD displays for amazing high-definition visual clarity (Learn more)
  • 2ms response times for smooth motion playback
  • LED backlit for energy-efficient operation and brighter luminance
  • Built-in power adapters for space-saving yet still slim design
  • 50,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio for more defined images in dark colors (Learn more)
  • Advanced connectivity for convenient ways to connect your PCs and notebooks (Learn more)
  • Splendid Video Intelligence Technology quick image presets for your preferred task at hand (Learn more)
  • Corporate Stable Model certified for one year guaranteed supply (Learn more)
  • ASUS Rapid Replacement service for quick product replacement should a unit be sent for repair (Learn more)

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TECH DEAL – Don’t Know How Long This Will Last On This BenQ 3D Projector

Saw this on Amazon being listed as a lightning deal: 

BenQ MX522 XGA 3000L HDMI Smarteco 3D Projector with 10,000 Hour Lamp Life Projector

[ CLICK HERE ]

 

BenQ 3D Projector

Featuring a XGA resolution, a brightness of 3000 ANSI lumens, a contrast ratio of 13,000:1, and an unbelievable lamp life of up to 10,000 hours, the MX522 is the perfect projector choice for your everyday life. Whether it’s in business, education, or at home, the MX522 delivers stunning images and lower total cost of ownership.

Specifications:

  • Projection System: DLP
  • Native Resolution: XGA (1024 x 768)
  • Brightness: 3000AL
  • Contrast Ratio: 13,000:1
  • Display Color: 1.07 Billion Colors
  • Lens: F=2.5-2.7, f=22.08-24.28mm
  • Aspect Ratio: Native 4:3 (5 aspect ratio selectable)
  • Throw Ratio: 1.97-2.17 (50″@2m)
  • Image Size (Diagonal): 34″-300″
  • Zoom Ratio: 1.1:1
  • Lamp Type: 190W
  • Keystone Adjustment: 1D, Vertical ± 40 degrees
  • Projection Offset: 130% ±5%
  • Resolution Support: VGA (640 x 480) to UXGA(1600 x 1200)
  • Horizontal Frequency: 15-102KHz
  • Vertical Scan Rate: 23-120Hz

 More Tech Toys

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What were Amazon’s top three selling computers over the holidays?

PCWorld posted this interesting article about the top three selling computers over the holidays? Guess what they were…  CHROMEBOOKS!

Chances are that if you shopped for a cheap holiday PC on Amazon for the holidays, what you ended up buying was a Google Chromebook. Again.

Amazon said Friday the top three computers it sold between Nov. 1 and Dec. 25 were all Chromebooks, a first for the Google-powered computer. (Two of the three most popular computers Amazon shoppers bought during the 2013 holiday season were also Chromebooks—the third being a Windows-powered Asus Transformer. Amazon didn’t break out holiday computer sales for 2012.)

Amazon said the three most popular computer items were the Acer C720 Chromebook(11.6-inch, 2GB); the Asus (C300) Chromebook 13-inch with Gigabit WiFi (16GB, 2GB), an updateto the C200; and the HP 11-2010nr 11.6-inch Chromebook (Snow White). None of those are priced at higher than $250, at least on Amazon’s site… READ MORE @ PCWorld

A Chromebook is a laptop running Chrome OS as its operating system. The devices are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and data residing “in the cloud”. (source: Wikipedia)

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A High-Speed Memory Card That Is Ideal For Smartphones and Tablets

We all know that Samsung makes great products. I was in the market for a microSD memory card for my smartphone (and tablet) and found the Samsung’s EVO 64 GB microSD Memory Card (64GB) at a reasonable price. The selling points for me was the customer ratings, which does not surprise me for Samsung products (see ratings below, at the time of this posting); and, the rated transfer speeds. If you are in need of a card for your smartphone or tablet, this is the one I would go with.

Samsung microSD Customer Reviews

Samsung 64GB EVO Class 10 Micro SDXC up to 48MB/s with Adapter

Samsung 64GB EVO Class 10 Micro SDXC

  • Up to 48MB/s transfer speed
  • Great for Cell phones, Smartphones, Android Tablets, Tablet PCs.
  • Great speed and performance for full HD video recording, high resolution pictures, mobile gaming, music and more.
  • Water proof, Temperature Proof, X-Ray proof, Magnetic proof
  • Compatible with devices with SDxC slots.

More Tech Toys

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Most Helpful Positive Review On The Samsung Galaxy S 8.4 Inch Tablet

After reviewing and researching the newer Android Tablet brands out there, I am pretty much sold on The Samsung Galaxy S 8.4 Inch Tablet. If you keep checking, you will find that Amazon will periodically drop the price from $399 to $349 (was at that price today when I wrote this post).  I could give some pretty good insight on this tablet; but, why reinvent the wheel (see most helpful positive review below).

Samsung Galaxy S 8.4 Inch Tablet

Samsung Galaxy S

You can get the Most Helpful Positive Review on this tablet by one of Amazon’s recognized “most trusted reviewers:

Amazing tablet, with a screen that brings color to life…

First Look: Hands on review

Rating 4.5 Stars (Excellent Tablet but not a perfect 5 star). Unfortunately there is no half rating with Amazon so I went with a 4

There is no question that Samsung has flooded the market with tablets in the past year. From low range to upper range. When the Tab Pro 8.4 came out a few months ago I knew that was the Android I have been waiting for. Of course had I known the Tab S was coming out I would have waited for this tablet. That takes nothing away from the Pro because it is an excellent tablet and I assume there will be further discounting. I broke up my review into sections so you can jump to a section faster… READ MORE

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Having Problems Cloning A Windows 8 PC Hard Drive? Read These Articles, Download This FREE Software and Watch This Video

I recently purchased a new Windows 8 Box (see this article) and decided I wanted to make a bootable cloned drive. Being old school I went to work using the cloning software I had on hand and I immediately noticed something different in the drive partitions. The free software I was using was not getting the job done; and the drive, after the cloning process, did not boot. My tech instinct told me I was missing out on something and went to work researching terms I was seeing, such as GPT and UEFI.

I had been out of the field for nearly 7 years, have kept up with things (more as a hobby), but was not real familiar with the new GPT and UEFI terms that I was seeing. I had heard of the terms, but really did not pay any attention to them. Besides I always was a more of a software guy than a hardware guy (so it really did not hit high on my priority list, until now).

I soon discovered that all Windows 8 machines nowadays support the new GPT and UEFI ; AND, that it is real important to know what GPT and UEFI are when you get into the hardware side of a Windows 8 based computer.

In real simple terms GPT is the new replacement for MBR – Master Boot Record and UEFI is the new replacement for the BIOS – Basic Input/Output System.

To define GPT and UEFI in more complex terms (and to get a full understanding), I went to Wikipedia for a definition and found two really good articles that will bring this all together.

GUID Partition Table (GPT) is a standard for the layout of the partition table on a physical hard disk, using globally unique identifiers (GUID). Although it forms a part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) standard (Unified EFI Forum proposed replacement for the PC BIOS)…  source: wikipedia:GUID Partition Table 

If you read this article “What’s the Difference Between GPT and MBR When Partitioning a Drive?” you will see that MBR is old school and GPT is new school… source: How-To Geek

If you read this article “UEFI boot: how does that actually work, then?” you will see where the author adamantly is telling us UEFI and BIOS are two completely different beasts. This article in my opinion really nails down all of this stuff to the point where I found a lot of what I had been reading was off base due to people using the terminology incorrectly.

You do not have a ‘UEFI BIOS’. No-one has a ‘UEFI BIOS’. Please don’t ever say ‘UEFI BIOS’. BIOS is not a generic term for all PC firmware, it is a particular type of PC firmware. Your computer has a firmware. If it’s an IBM PC compatible computer, it’s almost certainly either a BIOS or a UEFI firmware… source: AdamW on Linux and more

Getting back to my original problem of cloning my Windows 8 hard drive, I now knew I needed to find cloning software that supported GPT and UEFI. This is where I found Macrium Reflect (FREE Edition), which supported the cloning process for GPT and UEFI based systems. Macrium Reflect is a free disaster recovery solution for your home computer that primarily specializes in making drive images.

Also, during my research, I came across this instructional video “How to Clone Windows 8” , where the person in the video will clearly walk you through the cloning process using the FREE Edition of Macrium Reflect…

When it comes to cloning Windows 8 or 8.1 you need to use the right software for the job, whats even better you don’t have to pay. Here is a free option that lets you clone Windows 8 or 8.1 with ease. The program is called Macruim Reflect, it supports the new GPT and UEFI BIOS that all windows 8 machines come with now days.

In the end, once I educated myself about GPT and UEFI, had the right software, and watched how to do it; I walked away with a successfully cloned (and bootable) hard drive. Due to my real life experience working through this, I decided to help others out in the event they start pulling their hair out, like I did…

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TECH DEAL – WD My Passport Ultra 2TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Auto Backup

Noticed in my Sunday flier (for Cyber Monday), the Western Digital My Passport Ultra 2TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive with auto backup for $99.00. Did some research on the internet and Amazon has this drive for the same price with FREE SHIPPING. The nice thing about these drives is that they are truly a portable drive. Simply connect to your computer, backup your files, disconnect from the computer and store the drive off site somewhere (to truly protect your data). I currently own an older Western Digital Portable drive that has served me well; however, this one may be the replacement. This drive comes in a variety of colors (red, black, blue and gray) and is USB 3.0 compatible and backward compatible to USB 2.0.

WD My Passport Ultra 2TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Auto Backup

(3 Year Warranty)

Size (LWH): 0.82 inches, 3.23 inches, 4.35 inches

WD My Passport Ultra 2TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Auto Backup

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TECH DEAL – A Mouse With A 3 Year Battery Life

Just purchased the Logitech Wireless Marathon Mouse M705 With 3-year Battery Life and I must say I am impressed with the “smooth as butter” hyper scrolling that you can toggle (at the push of a button) to a more precise scrolling. As a matter of fact when I purchased this mouse I could not (initially) figure out what the button on top of the mouse was for.

If the battery life is what is claimed, and based on my computer usage, I may wear this thing out before the batteries expire; but, then I noticed the feet on this mouse can be changed??? The Marathon Mouse M705 uses less than half the battery power of comparable wireless mice.

So far, as all Logitech products I have owned, I am loving this mouse… The Logitech Wireless Marathon Mouse M705, at Amazon, is (at the time of this post) is approximately 30% off the regular price.

Logitech Wireless Marathon Mouse M705 With 3-year Battery Life

Logitech M705 Marathon Mouse

Extended battery life
Save time, money and the planet by practically eliminating battery changes.

Hand-friendly design
Contoured shape and finger rests poise your hand for comfortable control.

Tiny Logitech Unifying receiver
One plug-and-forget USB receiver stays in your notebook and let you connect up to six Unifying- compatible devices like keyboards and mice. To learn more about Logitech Unifying receiver click here

Hyper-fast scroll wheel
Fly through long documents and web pages with a single spin.

Precision cursor control
Smooth, accurate laser tracking, even on challenging surfaces like a polished desk

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TECH DEAL – Lexar JumpDrive S73 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (limited time only)

I don’t know how long this one will last…  A Lexar JumpDrive S73 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (for less than $50 + FREE Shipping)…

 Lexar JumpDrive S73 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Lexar 128 GB

Store and transfer content faster with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology

Speeds up to 3 times faster (up to 45MB/s read and 20MB/s write

Retractable connector with convenient thumb slide

Reliably stores and transfers photos, videos, files, and more

Compatible with PC and Mac systems

Good Deal On A Samsung 4TB External Hard Drive (limited days and limited supply)

A good friend pointed me into the direction of NewEgg on eBay for the SAMSUNG D3 Station 4TB USB 3.0 3.5″ Desktop External Hard Drive STSHX-D401TDB Bl. Appears the sale on this ends in 4 days and there is a limited supply.

I also did a price comparison below:

Newegg on Ebay – $99.99

What’s On My PC @ Amazon – $137.95 (good place to check for specs and reviews)

Samsung External Hard Drive - 4TB

Features:

  • Provides 4TB of desktop storage for all of your music, videos and photos.
  • AutoBackup personal backup solution
  • Secure Drive for data security
  • SuperSpeed USB 3 Cable
  • 3 years limited warranty

Featured Tech Toy – Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball

If you have never used a trackball before you do not know what you are missing. Probably the best way to describe a trackball is that it is a stationary mouse (no mouse to move around) with a ball that you use your thumb to navigate (or roll the ball) to perform your onscreen point and click operations.

Compared with a mouse, a trackball has no limits on effective travel; at times, a mouse can reach an edge of its working area while the operator still wishes to move the screen pointer farther. With a trackball, the operator just continues rolling, whereas a mouse would have to be lifted and re-positioned. Some trackballs, such as Logitech’s optical-pickoff types, have notably low friction, as well as being dense (glass), so they can be spun to make them coast. The trackball’s buttons may be situated to that of a mouse or to a unique style that suits the user… source: Wikipedia

Looking at the trackball options out there, the best-of-the-best, in my opinion and based on customer reviews in the Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball. If we look at this at What’s On My PC @ Amazon (at the time of this writing), there were over 4105 reviews submitted giving the Logitech M570 a near 5 star rating. I personally am looking at this trackball to prevent injury to my wrist and to use it as a media center device. Another plus to the trackball, is if you have limited desk space, the trackball is the way to go because you do not move it, and it only takes up the space where you position it (plus, no mouse pad is required).

Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball

Logitech Wireless Trackball M570

Features

  • Trackball comfort: Sculpted shape supports your hand and stays in one place?move the cursor without moving your arm
  • Logitech Unifying receiver: Connect up to six compatible wireless devices with one tiny receiver that stays in your laptop
  • Long battery life: Go for up to 18 months without changing the included AA battery* (* Battery life may vary based on user and computing conditions. )
  • Smooth cursor control anywhere: Precision laser tracking on your desk, couch, bed or almost any other surface
  • For Windows or Mac OS: Control your laptop, desktop computer or home theater PC wirelessly from up to 30 ft. away** (** Actual wireless range will vary with use, settings and environmental conditions. )
  • Compact footprint: perfect for tight workspaces and busy desks.
  • Logitech Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless
  • Logitech Unifying technology: Easily connect up to six compatible wireless devices?keyboards, number pads or mice?without the hassle of multiple receivers filling up your USB ports.
  • Trackball comfort, Time-tested shape
  • Wireless freedom: Control laptop, desktop computer or home theater PC from up to 30 feet (10 meters) away.

An “All In One” 120 GB SSD (Solid State Drive) and 1 TB HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

Many folks, when installing a SSD (Solid State Drive), will install the operating system on the SSD drive and then will keep their second HDD (Hard Disk Drive) to store their data and program files. Western Digital, having recognizing this, has developed the world’s first dual drive that consists of 120 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD in one 2.5 inch package (or kit).

WD Black Dual Drive (120 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD)

WD Black2 Dual Drive 2.5" 120 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD Kit (WD1001X06XDTL)

Features At A Glance:

  • Revolutionary dual drive with 120 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD
  • Fully accessible SSD for the operating system, generous capacity hard drive for personal data and large files
  • Lower cost-per-gigabyte advantage over the solid-state competition
  • World’s first 2.5-inch dual drive storage solution
  • Easily create a backup of your SSD on the hard drive while on the go or use for massive storage
  • Dual drives extend the life of MLC NAND and maintain optimum SSD performance
  • You control where your data resides with no need for large cloud storage or expensive third party storage plans

 

Nice Deal On Toshiba TransMemory Flash Drives

Remember when the flash drive technology first came out. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on one. Today is no exception, especially that the capacity of the these little drives exceed the levels of what some hard drives used to be.

Today I came across a good deal on the Toshiba TransMemory USB 3.0 Flash Drives that you may be interested in. These drives are especially handy for people who work in the information technology profession and for the everyday homebody who wants to store important files off site (i.e. in a bank deposit box).

Toshiba Transmemory Flash Drives

 

Amazon carries several models of these from the 32 GB capacity all the way up to the 128 GB capacity with a drop in the pricing at this time.

Recently Installed This PNY SSD (Solid State Drive) In My Lenovo IdeaCentre Q150 Nettop

You are probably wondering, from he title of this blog post, “What in the world is a Nettop?”. Back on November 5, 2010 I posted an article titled, “My Mini (HTPC) Media Center Setup Featuring Lenovo, LG and Bose” which featured the Lenovo IdeaCentre Q150 Nettop.

A nettop is a very small form factor, inexpensive, low-wattage desktop computer designed for basic tasks such as surfing the Internet, accessing web-based applications, document processing, and audio/video playback. – Wikipedia

The Lenovo Ideacentre Q150 that I purchased in 2010, is a Windows 7 Pro computer that sports an Intel ® Atom Dual Core processor D510 (1.66GHz, 1MB L2 Cache); 2 GB DDR2 667 RAM; 250 GB, 5400 RPM Hard Drive; HDMI NVIDIA ION Graphics Processor with 512MB graphics (with full HD 1080p support), and wireless network ready. I originally had the nettop attached to the rear of my TV, but since then I use it in my garage to primarily surf the internet. Lenovo to this day still serves up the nettop footprint in their latest Q190 models (see here).

Recently I decided to breathe some new life into the nettop and installed a PNY XLR8 SATA 120GB 6Gbps 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive. Using AMOEI Backupper Standard to image the original 250 GB drive I was able to seamlessly move the operating system and data over to the PNY Solid State Drive (which is a smaller drive at a 120 GBs). Some would question, why go from the larger drive to the smaller drive and my answer is that I was seeking a performance upgrade (and not a capacity upgrade). The nettop I use is connected to my home network where I have plenty of space on external drives to manage and store data; plus, I have a ton of online storage. So capacity is not the issue…

After installing the PNY XLR8 SATA 120GB 6Gbps 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive and performing several reboots I immediately noticed a big improvement in boot time, software loads and browser page loads.

If you are looking for an upgrade in an older PC, I highly recommend going with a solid state drive installation and highly recommend the PNY XLR8 SATA 120GB 6Gbps 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive. This drive is at a decent price point at this time and carries with it a 4.5 star customer rating.

PNY XLR8 SATA 120GB 6Gbps 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive

PNY’s lineup of XLR8 SSDs feature a 2.5” SATA III, 6Gbps interface, support 128-bit AES encryption and is powered by the SandForce 2281 controller, offering up to 500MB/s seq. read, 450MB/s seq. write speeds, and 60,000 random read/write IOPS. Manufactured in the USA and designed for long term photo/video storage and home usage such as web browsing, emails, faster operating system and program launching.

A Mouse Designed Specifically For Web Scrolling

I just purchased the Logitech M325 Mouse, to use with my nettop computer, and must say I am quite impressed with how smooth this mouse scrolls web pages. Typically with a mouse you get that click-click-click feel when scrolling webpages. With the Logitech M325 the mouse wheel operates as smooth as silk when scrolling pages.

Logitech M325

The Logitech M325 is mainly designed for use with notebook computers; however, it is a reasonably priced mouse that I would not be afraid to use as the mouse for my desktop. One feature I like with this mouse is that you can tilt the mouse wheel left or right to go backwards or forward when navigating web pages. Also, has very good ratings

TECH DEAL – Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III SSD

Noticed an Amazon price drop on the Samsung 840 EVO 2.5 inch SATA SSD Drive. This is one of the best sellers at Amazon with awesome customer reviews. SATA drives have no moving parts, which means a very noticeable increase in performance; AND, is one of the best upgrades you can make to a computer. If you are looking for a SSD drive, you may want to check this one out [CLICK HERE]

Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Single Unit Version Internal Solid State Drive MZ-7TE250BW

840 EVO Series 250 GB SSD

TECH DEAL – SanDisk Ultra II 240GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SSD)

I don’t know if this is a Labor Day special or not, but Amazon has the SanDisk Ultra II 240 GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive at 38% off the regular price.

SanDisk Ultra II 240GB SATA 6.0GB/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SSD)

SanDisk Ultra II

The SanDisk Ultra II SSD is an easy and affordable way to upgrade and boost your PC’s performance by up to 28 times (1). With this performance boost, you can enjoy no-wait boot up, shorter application load times, and quicker data transfer to make multi-tasking easy when it comes to work, entertainment, or both. In addition to cooler, quieter computing, the SanDisk Ultra II SSD adds up to 15% battery life to laptops and notebooks (2). From a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, the SanDisk Ultra II SSD can extend the life of your computer.

TECH DEAL – Amazon Price Drop AMD FX-8350 FX-Series 8-Core Processor

Nice processor for all you system builders out there…

AMD FD8350FRHKBOX FX-8350 FX-Series 8-Core

AMD FD8350FRHKBOX FX-8350 FX-Series 8-Core

AMD FX 8-Core Processor, Unlocked, Black Edition. AMD’s next-generation architecture takes 8-core processing to a new level. Get up to 24% better frame rates in some of the most demanding games, at stunning resolutions. Get faster audio encoding so you can enjoy your music sooner. Go up to 5.0 GHz with aggressive cooling solutions from AMD. What Is In The Box: CPU, Heat Sink and Fan(E3), Thermal Paste is already applied on the Heat Sink, FX Bezel Sticker, Certificate of Authenticity, Installation Instruction and a 3 Year Warranty and Instruction Manual

TECH DEAL – Nice Deal On Lenovo Desktop Computer (Coupon Code K350E8801 Expires 9/3/2014)

If you are looking for a desktop computer, I came across this deal at DealNews:

Lenovo offers its Lenovo K450e Intel Haswell Core i5 3.2GHz Desktop (no monitor), model no. 57328801, for $579. Coupon code “K350E8801” cuts it to$539. With free shipping, that’s $260 off list and the lowest total price we could find. Features include an Intel Haswell Core i5-4460 3.2GHz quad-core processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB 7200rpm hard drive, DVD burner, 802.11n wireless, and Windows 8.1 64-bit. Deal ends September 3.

Lenovo K450e Haswell i5 Quad 3.2GHz Desktop for $539 + free shipping

Geek Squeak – “How To Geek” Tells You Why SSD Is The Single Biggest Upgrade You Can Give Your Computer

SSD (Solid State Drive) – Have no moving (mechanical) components. This distinguishes them from traditional electromechanical magnetic disks such as hard disk drives (HDDs) or floppy disks, which contain spinning disks and movable read/write heads.Compared with electromechanical disks, SSDs are typically more resistant to physical shock, run silently, have lower access time, and less latency.

Now that we have the definition SSD out of the way, make sure you read the article at “How To Geek” on “It’s Time Why You Need to Upgrade to an SSD Right Now“.

ssd-in-desktop-computer

It’s time to upgrade to an SSD if you’re still using a mechanical hard drive in your computer. An SSD is the single biggest upgrade you can give your computer, and prices have come down dramatically… READ MORE @ How To Geek

Great Deal On EasyAcc® Superspeed USB 3.0 7 Port Hub

Finding that you need more USB ports? Definitely go with a power USB Hub. Amazon has a good deal on the EasyAcc Superspeed, USB 3.0 capable, 7 port hub (with 2 smart USB 3.0 ports with both charging and data capabilities). Typically this hub sells for $80.99 (now selling for $39.99). I do not know how long this deal will last.

EasyAcc® Superspeed USB 3.0 7 Port Hub

EasyAcc® Superspeed USB 3.0 7 Port Hub

  • 2-in-1 charging and data hub: 2 BC 1.2 smart USB 3.0 ports with both charging and data capabilities and able to reach a max. speed of 5V 2A plus 5 standard USB 3.0 ports with data transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbps (10 times faster than USB 2.0);
  • Transforms into a 7-port charger: 2 special charging cables (no data capabilities) provided can change all ports into fast charging ones that reach between 0.5 to 2.4A for a max. of 5V 7A between the 7 ports. (Actual charging speed depends on your device.);
  • Smart and safe: Communicates with your smart devices and adjusts the charging speed accordingly; also supports hot swapping. Built-in surge protector keeps both your devices and data safe;
  • Ultra-compatible: Compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1; no drivers required for Windows 8/7/Vista/XP and Mac OS X 10.2 and above;
  • Worry-free after-sales service: EasyAcc® provides a 12-month warranty and free lifetime technical support globally.Buy now and you can enjoy an additional 5-year warranty

GEEK SQUEAKS – Featuring Google Chrome’s Remote Desktop App – AND MORE

Did you know you can access any remote connection enabled computer with the same Google Account? You can with Google Chrome’s Remote Desktop App. The nice thing about this app is that Chrome does not need to be opened on the remote computer.

Google Chrome’s Remote Desktop App

If interested in giving this a spin, visit the Chrome Remote Desktop App page (in the Chrome Web Store) where you can install the app.

Once installed and you open it for the first time, you will go through an authorization process and will be asked to see your email address (which is the validation key to your account); to see your other activated Chrome remote desktop computers; to receive (and send) chat messages so that the computers can talk to each other; and, authorization to allow remote access even if no one is at the PC using the application.

Need more help with this, check out the Chrome Remote Desktop App Support Page…

[ COMMENTS ARE WELCOME – CLICK HERE ]


MORE GEEK SQUEAKS

[ACCESSORY] An All-In-One Wireless Router, Power Bank, Wireless USB Storage Reader, and Media Sharing Device – The NEW HooToo TripMate HT-TM01 is the perfect solution for your network needs away from home… @Amazon

HooToo TripMate HT-TM01

[MS OFFICE] Service Pack 1 available for Office 2013 – Full Download links… @TCAT Shelbyville – Technical Blog

[ANDROID] The 3 Best Android Apps of the Week! – (Forest Live Wallpaper, SlideLock, Trunx)… @Barry’s Best Windows, Android, And iPhone iPad Apps

[WALLPAPER] Cars Wallpaper Set 3 @Awesome Wallpapers

Cars Wallpaper Set 3

[WINDOWS]  CDBurnerXP 4.5.3.4643 -CDBurnerXP is a free application to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs. It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs, as well as a multilanguage interface. Everyone, even companies, can use it for free. It does not include adware or similar malicious components.

[NEWS] Windows XP: 28 Days LaterApocalypse, and if you’ve not read through the comparison yet, grab it from the inline link. But, is anyone wondering what will actually happen after April 8, 2014 when Windows XP is finally laid to rest? Will a moment of silence at its passing explode into a full scale malware war?… @WindowsITPro


Learn a byte at a time with Geek Squeaks’ — featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it… I just plain love tech!

Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com

GEEK SQUEAKS – The World’s Favorite PC Optimization Tool To Be Available In The Cloud

I am sure you have heard of CCleaner. CCleaner is the number-one tool for cleaning your Windows PC. It protects your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more secure.

I just happened across a site called Agomo, that is currently in early beta stages, that will give you the ability to run CCleaner from any computer you have connected to the internet. In other words, Agomo is making CCleaner a cloud based application.

agomo

As I mentioned, Agomo is in beta and is not currently available to the general public; however, you can sign up for a chance to be a beta tester.

[ COMMENTS ARE WELCOME – CLICK HERE ]


MORE GEEK SQUEAKS
FROM AROUND NET

[NEWS] – Microsoft tries to jumpstart cheap Windows devices with license price cut – Report cites 70% price reduction on Windows 8.1 to OEMs building sub-$250 tablets and notebooks; another signal that Microsoft faces unprecedented competition… @ComputerWorld

[SOFTWARE] – John’s Background Switcher 4.8 – John’s Background Switcher is a handy tool that will regularly change your desktop wallpaper to something more interesting… @DownloadCrew

[HOW TO] – How to Zoom the Entire Screen on Your Smartphone or Tablet – Smartphones and tablets are great but sometimes the contents of the screen are just too small for old eyes like mine. The display of browsers and some apps can be enlarged with a two-finger spread but this gesture doesn’t work on everything. However, many devices have a setting that will allow you to zoom the whole screen, no matter what the contents. Here is how it works… @gizmo’s

[HOW TO] – Reopen closed tabs in IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera browsers – If you’ve accidentally closed your browser tab or maybe changed your mind and want to reopen a tab which you had closed earlier, you can easily do so. Most browsers allow you to reopen the last closed tab or tabs via their user interface. This feature is available with Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera and many others to… @The Windows Club

[HOW TO] – How to Get The Most Out of Your Computer Mouse – You probably gave no more than a casual glance at the settings under the “Mouse Properties” applet in Control Panel on a Windows 7/8 computer. Possibly you opened it to adjust the mouse’s pointer speed or sensitivity of your laptop’s touchpad, which is typically the only adjustment a user makes for the mouse. But let us dig a little deeper and see what this tool has in store for the user… @Instant Fundas

[APP] – Issuu –  Experience millions of the world’s best magazines and catalogs, all for free, in Issuu’s beautifully crafted app for Android. Discover a world of meaningful content, created by over 1.5 million publishers around the globe. Turn millions of digital pages with the swipe of a finger… @Google Play

[HARDWARE]WD My Passport Ultra 1TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0 with Auto and Cloud Backup – My Passport Ultra portable hard drive features WD SmartWare Pro backup software that lets you back up to the drive itself or use Dropbox to back up to the cloud. Move files quickly with the blazing speed of USB 3.0 connectivity. Keep your data private with password protection and hardware encryption… @Amazon

[WALLPAPER] – Resting Jaguar… @Desktop Nexus

Resting Jaguar

[YOUTUBE] – X-Men Origins: Wolverine Cat

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Cat

Learn a byte at a time with Geek Squeaks’ — featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it… I just plain love tech!

Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com

What’s On My PC – Geek Squeaks’ For Your Week

This week we are featuring 7 different ‘squeaks’:  A really nice Windows 8 App that you need to grab; Rumors about an update to Windows 8.1; A tech site that will hit your tech sweet spot; FREE software to remove malware; A video on how to make a phone or tablet stand; A wallpaper for the geek types out there; and, an Acer Ultrabook that is a real powerhouse.

[ COMMENTS ARE WELCOME – CLICK HERE ]

Twitter

Geek Squeaks’ for the Week is a weekly round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it;  from my favorite tech web sites… I just plain love tech!

#1 – A REALLY NICE WINDOWS 8 APP that gives you the ability to quickly search and download Youtube videos (coverts to MP4) and/or audio (converts to MP3). I tested out this app (called Download YouTube) and found it to do what it claims. I was able to quickly search for YouTube music videos that I was interested in, download them, and convert the audio in the video to MP3. Definitely one of the few Windows 8 Apps that I have on my PC…

image

Go to the Windows Store on your PC and search for Download YouTube or find out more HERE


#2 – BASED ON A SERIES OF LEAKS there is possibly (already) going to be an update to Windows 8.1…  You got to be kidding???  Microsoft, I do believe, is listening to their user base. Most people, like you at home, were thrown a doctored curveball when you got that new computer and it started up to a bunch of blocks.  Anyhow, PCWorld has a nice article, Windows 8.1 Update 1: Everything we know so far that will help to bring you up to speed. I think the forthcoming changes, if rumored to be true, will get Microsoft back on track for desktop and notebook computer users…

image

With the next update to Windows 8.1, Microsoft really wants mouse-and-keyboard users to feel comfortable with modern apps.

We now have a good sense of what to expect in Windows 8.1 Update 1, thanks to a series of leaks from Win8China and reliable Russian blogger WZor, along with reporting by Paul Thurrott and ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, two writers with a strong track record for breaking early Windows news.


#3 – THIS WEEK’S RANDOM TECH SITE PICK (with sample article), from Bookmarks4techs.com, is:

image

How to find out if someone has been snooping in your Gmail – Your Gmail account probably contains some sensitive information—emails from your friends and family members, information about accounts for other services, candid pictures, you name it. What if someone else has been poking around in there? Fortunately, Google gives you the tools necessary to find out… READ MORE

TechHive helps you find your tech sweet spot. We steer you to products you’ll love and show you how to get the most out of them. Learn more ›


#4 – A WINDOWS PROGRAM TO REMOVE MALWARE from your PC, called Malwarebytes Chameleon

image

One of the strategies often used, when a computer is infected by malware, is to “try” and get Malwarebytes Anti-Malware installed; HOWEVER, many times the malware itself will prevent the install. This is where Malwarebytes Chameleon comes into play. Malwarebytes Chameleon technologies gets Malwarebytes Anti-Malware installed and running when blocked by malicious programs.


#5 – A VIDEO ON HOW TO EASILY MAKE A TABLET OR SMARTPHONE STAND that can be folded up (and actually could be carried with you if made out of an old credit card):

Easily Make A Tablet or Smartphone Stand


#6 – THE WALLPAPER OF THE WEEK is very techie in nature in that it is a pic of the inside of a hard drive. This wallpaper is featured at hdwallpapers and can be downloaded to match the resolution of your screen. I definitely added this on to my collection…

image


#7 – THE TECH PRODUCT OF THE WEEK features the Acer Aspire S7-392-9890 13.3-Inch Touchscreen Ultrabook. This is an example of the direction that ultrabooks are heading with powerful processors, solid state drives, long battery life; all in a thin architecture.

Acer Aspire S7-392-9890 13.3-Inch Touchscreen Ultrabook

image

Acer’s thinnest touch Ultrabook™, The Acer Aspire® S7 is razor-slim at 0.51″ and a featherlight at 2.87 lbs. The cover is made from Gorilla® Glass 2 so it’s thin and light, as well as scratch resistant, easy to clean, extremely strong and beautiful to the eye. From the look to the feeling, every aspect of the Aspire S7 is designed with cutting-edge technology for a better touch experience.


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com

How Much Physical Memory Can Windows Actually Use (or See)?

A memory upgrade is one of the best computer upgrades you can make; however, it is important to know that Windows, depending whether your system is 32 bit or 64 bit, does have a limit. In other words Windows can only see a specific amount of memory depending on the architecture of your system and the operating system version you are are running..

To put this into perspective, see below a comparison between 32 bit vs. 64 bit of Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Physical Memory Limits: Windows 8

Physical Memory Limits: Windows 7

This is important to know when you are upgrading RAM in your computer. To learn more about the memory limits for the various versions of Windows, visit Memory Limits for Windows ReleasesIf you are interested in a potential upgrade and cost estimate for your computer [CLICK HERE]


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Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com

Why You Should Build Your Next Gaming Computer

PC gaming has long been the most rewarding gaming platform. It boasts better graphics and offers a more complicated, immersive, and unique experience than consoles do. However, despite its superiority, some console gamers will never make the jump. The reason? Most console gamers think PC gaming is too expensive of a platform to get into.

This is actually understandable, because if you look at some of the price tags on the high-end pre-built “gaming computers” available today, you’ll find prices that hover around the $1,000 mark for the entry point systems. With prices so high, it’s no wonder why most gamers don’t want to shell out thousands of dollars just to hop into PC gaming.

However, getting a solid gaming computer isn’t something that has to cost you thousands of dollars. In fact, landing a gaming computer can actually be more lucrative than buying a new console…

Consoles are limited in what they do. And, most people need some kind of computer to keep up with the demands of today’s tech-driven world. So, a computer will not only fit a person’s gaming needs, but it will also give them the ability to browse the internet, send emails, use it for work/school related purposes, etc. The bottom line is that you’re getting much more than a gaming machine when you get a gaming computer.

So, how can you get a quality gaming computer at an affordable price?

You have to build it yourself…

By building your own gaming computer, you will avoid the high markup prices that manufacturers put on their systems. In doing so, you can save yourself a ton of money and you can get a gaming machine that will allow you to play the best games on the highest settings.

And, despite what you may think, building your own computer isn’t as hard as it seems. It’s really just a matter of plugging the right components into the right slots.

So, in an effort to get more people switched over to the PC gaming platform, in this article I’m going to take an in-depth look at a couple of reasons why you should build your own gaming computer.

Building Your Own Gaming Computer: More Performance at a Lower Cost

There are many reasons why building your own computer is the best option for gamers. And, not all of the reasons have to do with gaming.

Not only does building your own computer give you more performance at a lower cost, but it will also give you a unique insight into how computers work and I think that is incredibly important in today’s tech-dependent world. Ultimately, the more you know about your computer, the better off you will be in a world run by computers.

With that being said, I’m now going to go into each of the reasons why you should consider building your own gaming computer…

Building a Gaming Computer Will Save You Money

As previously stated, high markup costs make pre-built gaming computers fairly expensive. This, of course, isn’t ideal for gamers who can’t drop thousands of dollars on a new computer. Fortunately, by building your own gaming computer, you don’t have to pay those markup costs.

By choosing your own components and building your own system you can save a ton of money. In fact, you can build a gaming computer that will run today’s most graphics-intensive games on the highest settings for about $600-$700.

Even for a couple hundred dollars less you can put together a cheap gaming computer that is capable of running most games on the highest settings. And, since some of the most popular games on the PC aren’t incredibly graphics-intensive (World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, Diablo III, Minecraft, League of Legends, etc.) a $400-$500 machine may be all you need.

This is just the start of the savings, though. If you consider the fact that most gaming computers become obsolete three to four years after they are purchased, then you can see how expensive it would be to replace your gaming computer every few years. However, when you build your own gaming computer, you will be able to make upgrades to your system as necessary in order to keep it up to par with modern games. By upgrading your computer when necessary, you can double its life and save yourself a bunch of money by not having to replace it.

Ultimately, building your computer, rather than buying it pre-built from the manufacturer, will give you the opportunity to make the switch to the PC platform for gaming. However, you will not only save money by building your own system, but you will also get a better quality machine as well…

Building Your Own PC Gives You Complete Control Over the Quality of Your System

Aside from the high markup costs, one of the big knacks on computer manufacturers is the quality of components they choose for their system. Sure, you’ll see them market the big-named processors and boast how much memory and storage space their computers have, but you’ll rarely see them go into details on what motherboard, power supply, and hard drive they’re using.

While these three components don’t directly relate to your in-game performance, they do play a huge role in the overall quality of your system. And, unfortunately, these are the three components that manufacturers skimp on the most.

It makes sense… the mainstream public isn’t going to buy a gaming computer based off of its motherboard, power supply, or hard drive. They just aren’t jaw-dropping components. However, if your power supply goes bad, you run the risk of damaging other components. If your motherboard goes out, you’ll need to get a new motherboard, and a new operating system (which will have to be be reinstalled). And, if your hard drive goes bad and you don’t have your computer backed up, you can lose all of your important files, have to get a new hard drive, and then reinstall your operating system.

These are all inconveniences that could easily be avoided if you ensure that you choose quality components. And, if you build your own gaming computer, that’s not hard to do.

Another good thing about choosing your own components, is that you can decide how the computer will run now and in the future. If a pre-built computer comes with a cheap, generic power supply and a function-limited motherboard, you probably won’t be able to make very many upgrades to it in the future. On the other hand, if you build your own computer, you can choose a feature-rich motherboard and pair it with a high-quality power supply that will give you room for upgrades in the future.

Building your own computer will also allow you to tailor your system to your own personal needs. This is in contrast to what the manufacturers do—which is to just a certain set of components and then use those sets to mass produce their computers, leaving very little variation between their systems.

So, if you’re mainly playing games like World of Warcraft and Starcraft II, but you also like to record your gameplay and stream live, you can adjust your budget to use less on your video card (since those two games aren’t graphics-processing hogs) and more on your processor and memory (because a more powerful processor and more memory will help with the multi-tasking involved with recording and streaming.)

Build Your Next Gaming Computer

In the end, building your own computer gives you a lot more options and allows you to build a computer that will meet your own needs. Not only that, but it will save you money as well. And, unlike buying a pre-built system every couple of years, you can upgrade the components in your system as necessary in order to keep it running at a high level for a longer period of time.

So, if you’re thinking about getting a new gaming computer in the future, take some time to consider the prospects of building it yourself. It’s not as hard as you think.

Author Bio

Today’s article was by Brent Hale…

Brent runs EliteGamingComputers.com—a site dedicated to helping gamers build their own computer. If you’re in the market for a new gaming computer, check out EGC today. There you’ll find a number of gaming computer builds for cheap gaming computers and high-end systems alike.  Also, be sure to check out another article by Brent at Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts —  Three Reasons Why You Won’t Regret Building Your Own Gaming Computer


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TODAY’S TECH TOY

Tech Toy

Turn Any Outlet In Your Home Into A High Speed Networking Port

A very cheap alternative to networking computers together in your home, without running network cable, is to use networking adapters that are engineered to use the electric grid in your house. Typically you connect one of the adapters to your modem/router via ethernet cable, then plug the adapter into a wall plug. Then you place another adapter, plugged into a electric outlet, that is subsequently connected to the device .(i.e. Smart TV, Gaming Consoles, Home Surveillance Device, etc.) that you desire to connect to. After the adapters are setup, you simply sync the adapters by pushing a button on the adapters. Once they are synced and the lights on the adapter show a connection, then you are networked.

To give an example of such an adapter, I took a look at the Rosewill RPLC-201PKIT 200Mbps Powerline AV Pass-Through Adapter.  What I like about this adapter is that even though it uses an electrical outlet, it gives you a pass-through outlet back so that you can still use the outlet. One thing about these adapters; do not plug them into a surge protector. This will cause the adapter to either not work or may seriously degrade your network bandwidth connection.

 Rosewill Rosewill RPLC-201PKIT 200Mbps Powerline AV Pass-Through Adapter

Standards: IEEE 1901 and HomePlug AV compliantCo-existence with HomePlug 1.0 NodesIEEE802.3, IEEE802.3u
Encryption: 128-bit AES Encryption
Ports: 10/100Mbps Ethernet port
LEDs: Power, Ethernet, Data
Powerline Speeds: Up to 200Mbps
Connection Type: RJ45
Connection Speeds: 10/100M
Kit Type: Double

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A Hard Drive That Has Its’ Own Wi-Fi Network

You have to love technology… Seagate has an external hard drive available that is called Wireless Plus. This drive has its own Wi-Fi network built-in, so you can wirelessly stream your media and files to your wi-fi devices such, as your tablet or smartphone. The cool thing about the Wireless Plus drive is that it acts as a router. You do not need to be connected to the internet to access this drive.

 You need no wires with this drive, at all.  It has a built-in rechargeable battery that will give you up to 10 hours life.  Imagine jumping in the car, powering the Wireless Plus up to stream movies to the kids’ tablets.

Wireless Plus has its own Wi-Fi network, so you can wirelessly stream your media and files to your tablet or smartphone on-the-go and off-the-grid

The free Seagate Media app for iOS and Android makes it easy to navigate and enjoy content wherever you go

1TB of built-in storage, which means you can load up to 500 movies or thousands of songs, photos and documents

Allows up to eight tablets and smartphones to access and store content at the same time

Wireless Plus creates its own Wi-Fi network, so there is no need for an Internet connection and you don’t have to use your data plan

Download movies and other media to your device, so you can enjoy your content later, when not connected to Wireless Plus

Game consoles, smart TVs, connected Blu-ray players and other DLNA devices can access the content on Wireless Plus whenever you have it connected to your home network via Wi-Fi

Up to 10-hour battery life

Get the specs from the manufacturer – [ HERE ]

image

Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about the Seagate Wireless Plus –[CLICK HERE]

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A Camcorder With A Built-In Projector

With the advent of the smartphone, with built in cameras and video recorders, the makers of camcorders needed to become more innovative. An example of this higher level of innovation can be found in the Sony HDR-PJ230/B High Definition Handycam Camcorder. This camcorder has it all; a built-in 8.9 megapixel still image camera, 27X optical zoom, 1920 x 1080 high definition resolution, 8GB embedded Flash memory and much more.  But, get this —  the Sony HDR-PJ230/B has a built-in video projection system that is powerful enough to project an image up to a 100-inch diagonal screen. Now this is what I call carrying your whole multimedia system in your pocket…  Amazing!

Get the specs from the manufacturer – [ HERE ]

Sony HDR-PJ230/B

Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about the Sony HDR-PJ230/B High Definition Handycam Camcorder – [CLICK HERE]

    • 1920×1080 Full HD 60p with 8.9MP Exmor R CMOS Sensor
    • Project up to 100″ videos with 13lm built-in projector
    • Up to 3hr10min of recording with 8GB embedded Flash Memory
    • SteadyShot image stabilization reduces blur
    • 2.7″ wide Clear Photo LCD display (230K)

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Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth Audio Devices

It is amazing the sound quality that can be had from our smartphones and tablet computers; especially, when you can drive that sound to a your speakers or home theater system. One way to accomplish this, without the mess of wires and actually connecting the device to the speakers, is to use a wireless speaker adapter for bluetooth enabled audio devices (such as your iphone, android phone, ipad and android tablet).

I went on the hunt for such an adapter and came up with the Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth Audio Devices that is not only made by a reputable manufacturer, but is cost effective and carries a good review rating.

Wireless audio streaming

  • Instantly stream music, movie soundtracks, Pandora and game audio from your tablet or smartphone to your home speakers
  • Great for iPhone, iPad, Android phones or any Bluetooth-enabled audio device
  • Far better sound quality than you get from your mobile device’s tiny built-in speakers

Get the specs from the manufacturer – [ HERE ]

 Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth Audio Devices

Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about the Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth Audio Devices– [CLICK HERE]

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Play The Most Graphics-Intensive Games With The ASUS GeForce GTX TITAN

Each week I have been trying to feature a tech product or gadget that is unique or is a good deal.  This week I came across a video card that is the ultimate video card for gamers. It is the ASUS GeForce GTX Titan with 6GB GDDR5 of on board memory. If you are looking for power and performance with the ability to play the most graphic intensive games, then this is the video card to get; however, getting one of the best does not come cheap.

Get the manufacturer specs on Microsoft Surface Pro – [ HERE ]

ASUS GeForce GTX TITAN

Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about ASUS GeForce GTX Titan  [CLICK HERE]

Product Features

    • Gigantic 6GB GDDR5 memory for the best gaming experience & the best resolution
    • NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync adjusts VSync to current frame rates for maximum playability
    • Bring games to life with NVIDIA Surround multi-monitor gaming on a single card

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A Low Profile 32 GB Flash Drive That Is Well Suited for A Tablet Computer or Car Audio System

The Tech Product for this week is the SanDisk Cruzer Fit CZEE 32 GB Flash Drive. The best way to describe this drive is that it is discreet.  As a matter of fact, the only bad about this drive is that it is so discreet you may just forget about it.  Otherwise, this drive is well suited for a  tablet computer or car audio where it is a very low profile and inconspicuous. This drive does not protrude from the side of the device like a typical in size flash drive.

Just how small is the Cruzer Fit CZEE 32 GB Flash Drive?  It is next to the size of a dime, so be careful that you do not lose it (or forget about it). Personally, I like the size and typically keep it in my computer to backup my personal documents.

Get the specs from the manufacturer – [ HERE ]

SanDisk Cruzer Fit CZEE 32 GB Flash Drive

Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about the SanDisk Cruzer Fit CZEE 32 GB Flash Drive [CLICK HERE]

  • Low-profile design for easy USB connectivity
  • Store all your most important data with capacities up to 32GB**
  • SanDisk SecureAccess™ software provides password protection**
  • Includes up to 2GB of online backup optionally available from YuuWaa**
  • Fits unobtrusively in a tablet or car audio USB port

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Tech Product of the Week: Raspberry Pi Model B Revision 2.0 (512MB) Single-Board Computer

At one point in time a computer encumbered a whole room; today you can find a computer, such as Raspberry Pi, that is the size of a credit card. The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation that is capable of performing functions, similar to that of a desktop PC (such as spreadsheets, word processing, games and high definition Video). Raspberry Pi has no hardrive; instead, it relies on an SD card (not included) for booting and long-term storage. The default OS is Debian; however, you can run other ARM Linux distributions.

Get the specs from the manufacturer – [ HERE ]

Raspberry Pi Model B

Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about the Raspberry Pi Model B Revision 2.0 (512MB)[CLICK HERE]

Broadcom BCM2835 700MHz ARM1176JZFS processor with FPU and Videocore 4 GPU

GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode, GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24GFLOPs with texture filtering and DMA infrastructure

512MB RAM

Additional specs: 10/100 BaseT Ethernet, HDMI, (2) USB 2.0, RCA video, SD card socket, Powered from microUSB socket, 3.5 mm audio out jack, boots from SD card, Size: 85.6 x 56 x 21 mm

Model B Revision 2.0 Board-only (no SD card, case, or cables)

Readers: To keep the blog interesting, I plan to feature a tech product of the week that will feature a direct link to the manufacturer for specifications and a link to Amazon to see the customer reviews (and how the product is being rated).

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Tech Product of the Week: U32 ShadowTM 1 TB External USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive

How would you like a 1TB (terabyte) external drive that is economically priced; carries a 3 year warranty; is the thinnest on the market; can be easily carried in your pocket; can dissipate heat by design; is USB bus powered (no power adapter required);, and, when connected to a USB 3.0 port is 5 times faster than USB 2.0?

Is so, then you need to check out the U32 ShadownTM 1 TB External USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive. These little drives are made by a company, based in St. Paul Minnesota, called Oyen Digital.

A drive such as this is a perfect backup strategy device to backup your personal files and then store the drive off-site.

Get the specs from the manufacturer – [ HERE ]

U32 ShadowTM 1 TB External USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive

Oyen Digital is an innovative developer and manufacturer in the portable storage industry, specializing in professional A/V and RAID storage.

Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about the U32 ShadownTM 1 TB External USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive[CLICK HERE]

Readers: To keep the blog interesting, I plan to feature a tech product of the week that will feature a direct link to the manufacturer for specifications and a link to Amazon to see the customer reviews (and how the product is being rated).

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Galaxy Nexus Screenshot

Recovering Hard Drive From Broken Computer

Proper body posture to sit in front of Computer

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Tech Product of the Week: Kindle Fire HD 7 Inch Tablet Computer

Looking for a tablet computer reminds me of the day when desktops started to flourish and everyone wanted one. It is like shopping for a car and by the end of the day you are more confused than you were at the beginning of the day.

Here is my take on Tablet Computers…  For the home based computer user, buy a reasonably priced Android OS based tablet, such as the Kindle Fire HD (7 inch). I cannot see putting out large amounts of money for a tablet; especially, when the next latest and greatest is just around the corner. We are only seeing the beginning of this type of technology.

I recently got my hands on the Kindle Fire HD and was very impressed. With the Kindle Fire you are really getting a great tablet that features a high definition display, great sound (Dolby Audio), dual-antenna Wi-Fi, a massive selection of Android Apps and much, much more for under $200…  I especially liked that the Fire has a Micro USB 2.0 port (for connection of a PC) and a Micro-HDMI port for high definition video output to a television. Many of the other 7 inch tablets lack these external connectivity options.  All-In-All, for the home based computer user, the Kindle Fire HD is a tablet to consider.

Get the specs from the manufacturer – [ HERE ]

Kindle Fire HD

Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about the Kindle Fire HD Tablet Computer – [ CLICK HERE ]

Readers: To keep the blog interesting, I plan to feature a tech product of the week that will feature a direct link to the manufacturer for specifications and a link to Amazon to see the customer reviews (and how the product is being rated).

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You’ve started your IT career. Now what?

How to delete cached Windows Updates in Windows 7/8

Who’s Who In Power Supplies, 2013: Brands Vs. Manufacturers

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Tech Product of the Week: GeForce GTX 660 Graphic Card

If you have an appetite for gaming hardware and are value conscious, then the GeForce GTX 660 Graphic Card may fit the bill… The EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SUPERCLOCKED 2048MB GDDR5 DVI HDMI DP Graphics Card is built specifically for 1080p gaming that use DirectX 11 and NVidia PhysX-enabled games.

Get the specs from the manufacturer – [ HERE ]

GeForce GTX 660 Graphic Card

Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about the GeForce GTX 660 Graphic Card [ CLICK HERE ] 

Readers: To keep the blog interesting, I plan to feature a tech product of the week that will feature a direct link to the manufacturer for specifications and a link to Amazon to see the customer reviews (and how the product is being rated).

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Top 3 Backup Programs for Intermediate to Advanced Users

Vista Home Security 2013

HP CEO Whitman Earned $15 Million in 2012, Filing Shows

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TODAY ONLY – Seagate Expansion 500 GB Portable External Hard Drive

When the holidays roll around you can really find some decent deals on computer and technology products. One tech bargain that jumped out at me was at Amazon (TODAY ONLY) that can be a real benefit to everyone is the Seagate 500 GB Portable External Hard Drive.

[ click here ]

image

I cannot overstress the importance of backing up your personal files (such as pictures, documents, videos, etc…). The cool part about this particular drive is that it is designed with portability in mind. No power adapter is required. Simply connect a single USB cable and you are ready to go. These types of drives are useful in backing up your data, then moving the drive to an offsite location. Another factor with this drive is that it is Bus-powered USB 3.0, backwards compatible with USB 2.0.  So if you have USB 3.0 technology built into your PC, then file transfers will occur at lightning speed.  Again, this deal is TODAY ONLY!

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Today’s Technology News, Software, Apps, Wallpapers, Tech Products and MORE… 5/28/12

Take one of these 27 downloads out for a spin

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Gold Box: New Deals. Every Day.

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GEEK SQUEAKS’ (#62) – Cool Camera, A Hot Trending Clipboard Manager, Future of SSD, Zombies and IT Nerds, and Defend Yourself On The Net

Camera With A Versatile Lens System

Panasonic Lumix Camera

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Free Clipboard Manager 2.00
Free Clipboard Manager that saves every text and image
that is copied in the clipboard!

Clipboard Manager

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Data Recovery Blog
Is SSD The Future Of Storage?

SSD

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Confessions of a Freeware Junkie
Zombies, IT nerds, bacon, oh my!

Zombies and Nerds

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Computer Tips
How To Defend Yourself On The Internet

Defend Yourself

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Computers & Accessories Index

Over 600 Bookmarked Tech Sites

MORE Geek Squeaks

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GEEK SQUEAKS’ #55 = Massive 3TB Hard Drive, FREE PDF Reader, FLV to MP3 Converter, Speed Up Boot Time and Mobile Computing Craziness

Seagate ST33000651AS Barracuda XT Hard Drive
Massive 3TB capacity provide plenty of room for downloading today’s storage-craving PC games or storing many hours of high-definition video content.

Seagate ST33000651AS Barracuda XT Hard Drive

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Sumatra PDF

Sumatra PDF

Free PDF, XPS, DjVu, CBZ and CBR reader for Windows. Sumatra PDF is small and starts up very fast. Simplicity of the user interface has a high priority. Portable version included (a single executable that can be run e.g. from USB drive and doesn’t write to registry).

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Worthy Tips
Free Download & Licenses of FLV To MP3 Converter

 FLV To MP3 Converter

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TuneUp Blog About Windows
True or False? 10 Tweaks to Speed Up Your PC’s Boot Time (Part 1)

Speed Up Your PC

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TTC Shelbyville
Mobile computing makes me crazy – Sanity out of Windows 8

Mobile computing makes me crazy

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Computers & Accessories Index

Over 600 Bookmarked Tech Sites

MORE Geek Squeaks

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Great Deal On An All-In-One PC

If you are in the market for an All-In-One PC, at a reasonable cost, then check out the HP 100B XZ812UT All-In-One PC at TigerDirect.  Appears it is currently selling for $299 after savings and rebates; plus the customer reviews is giving it pretty high marks.  Offer ends 10/31/2011.

An All-In-One PC has its’ advantages and disadvantages.  The advantage is that the computer and monitor are one; thus it takes up very little space. The disadvantage is that they are not as upgradeable, in terms of hardware, like a desktop PC.  In the end, an All-In-One PC is similar to a notebook computer in terms of its’ architecture.

HP 100B XZ812UT All-In-One PC – AMD E-350 1.6GHz, 2GB DDR3, 250GB HDD, DVDRW, AMD Radeon HD 6310, 20″ Display, Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

HP 100B XZ812UT All-In-One PC

The HP 100B XZ812UT All-In-One PC combines everyday business computing with exceptional value. The HP 100B XZ812UT All-In-One PC space-saving design frees up your desktop space for an uncluttered computing experience. With built-in 20” diagonal display, speakers, USB support and Slim-Tray SuperMulti DVD Burner with LightScribe Technology, it looks great without breaking the bank. With the HP 100B XZ812UT All-In-One PC you can multi-task right out of the box.

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Tech Sites, Tech News, and Tech Accessories – All In One Place

If you are one that has an interest in computers and technology, then check out my sister site called, Bookmarks4Techs.

Bookmarks4Techs

Bookmarks4Techs is one of the largest aggregation of links to tech sites (and tech news) out there. When you visit the site, please notice that the sidebars of the site host news topics from some of the top tech sites out there. These news topics change daily.

Also, while you are there, I encourage you to visit the Computer and Accessories page. This page is an index created to help you easily find anything you are looking for when it comes to computers, technology, electronics, software, etc…

With the fall season here and winter around the corner I intend to take the time and add more links and clean house (of any dead tech sites).

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[FEATURED PRODUCT] – Logitech Wireless Wave Combo MK550 With Keyboard and Laser Mouse

Logitech Wireless Wave Combo MK550 With Keyboard and Laser Mouse

Talk about a nice keyboard and mouse combo…  I have always been a fan of Logitech products and the Logitech Wireless Wave Combo MK550 Keyboard and Mouse are no exception.  It is a well designed  functional pairing of devices that will make your computing experience all that much better.

Features I Like:

The wave design of the keyboard that brings a natural and more comfortable typing experience, featuring Logitech’s ergonomic curve+wave+palm rest.

The included Logitech SetPoint software that allows you to program and customize the multimedia keys on the keyboard and the buttons on the mouse.

The small (very small) unifying receiver that connects both the keyboard and the mouse.

The long battery life.  Seems like I never have to change the battery in either the keyboard or mouse.

The keys are very responsive with no lag time from keyboard to screen.

The pricing…  For an ergonomic keyboard and mouse combo of this type, the price is better than other comparable products [ SEE HERE ] .

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